from "The Parish"

The Vicars greensward pathways once his pride
His woodbine bowers that used his doors to hide
& he himself full often in his chair
Smoaking his pipe & conning sermons there
The yard & garden roods his only farms
& all his stock the hive bees yearly swarms
Are swept away—their produce & their pride
Were doomed to perish when the owner dyd
Fresh faces came with little taste or care
& joyd to ruin what was his to rear
His garden plants & blossoms all are fled
& docks & nettles blossom in their stead

(lines 1634 to 1645)

The Poems of John Clare,
ed. J. W. Tibble (2 volumes, Dent, 1935)

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